Moore’s Law Might Not Be Applicable Anymore, Says Broadcom CTO

Moore’s Law, which is named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, has been a rather popular observation about the computing industry, especially hardware and processing capability. The law suggests that the number of transistors and integrated circuits that can be packed into computer processing units doubles every 2 years, thus giving users significantly more computing power as the years go by. The law also explains why computing gets cheaper every year when it comes to processors.


Source | Wikipedia

Here is the original statement from Moore,

“The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year. Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000. I believe that such a large circuit can be built on a single wafer.”

Over the years, the rapid advancement of the computing industry has conformed to  this observation but this may soon change, according to Broadcom CTO, Henry Samueli. Broadcom is a major semiconductor company which is involved in the wireless and the broadband communication sector. Henry posits that Moore’s law is not making chips cheaper anymore. This is simply because doubling the amount of processor capability is currently getting harder to accomplish. The manufacturing processes required to achieve this are currently getting expensive and complicated and the investment into getting this done does not lower the prices of chips. He says that these days chip makers have to choose two options between more processing speed, less power consumption and lower cost of manufacturing, thus affecting pricing the most since the market desires faster chips which consume less power. His statement seems to imply that there might be a dead-end when it comes to ‘cramming more components into a processing unit’. This is going to affect computing speeds in the coming years. However, he says that the pricing issue may become apparent sooner.

This may be the next big challenge for engineers working on the hardware aspect of computing. Since the boom in the home computing sector in the late 80s, computing power has kept increasing and the prices have kept falling, making high end computers very affordable for everyone. This might not be the case anymore and consumers will have to get used more expensive chips for higher computing capability. This has major implications for all sectors which rely on high speed computing, namely online media, technology, internet services, gaming among other things.

Source | ITWorld

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